The state opera and ballet theatre “Astana Opera” was founded in Astana in 2013 on the initiative of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. At the opening of the theatre, the head of state said: “A country that builds factories and roads creates a solid foundation for the years to come. A country that builds schools and hospitals takes care of the nation’s future for decades. A country that builds theatres looks centuries ahead…”
Located on the left bank of the Ishim River, the Astana Opera House is captivating in its magnificence. The architectural perfection of the theatre matches that of world-famous opera houses such as La Scala in Milan, the Theatro Royal in Madrid, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, etc.
The theatre covers an area of almost 9 hectares. The area of the building itself is 64 thousand square metres. Around 3,000 square metres of this is the stage area. The Astana Opera House impresses not only with its size, but also with its architectural elegance. It was built according to the best classical traditions of world architecture, with the Kazakh national colour coming through in the theatre’s architecture.
The main entrance of the theatre is decorated with the composition “The Mare and the Girl with Zhetygen” by sculptors M. Mansurov and T. Yermekov. The quadriga mounted on the theatre building is an image of Tomiris, the charioteer of the Queen of Sakan (author: Kanat Nurbaturov).
The lobby, foyer, auditorium and main stage are designed in the style of high classicism. The main auditorium of the theatre has 1250 seats.
The technical capabilities of the “Astana Opera” are in no way inferior and sometimes even surpass many theatres in the world. All the theatre’s premises, including ancillary spaces (backstage, various workshops, numerous rehearsal rooms) and everything that makes the theatre move and efficient, meet world standards.
Adjacent to the central stage are 2 side pockets and the back stage. The backdrops are set up in the large backstage space where they are pre-assembled. The size of the stage allows several prefabricated decorations to be placed at the same time. Thus, the machine allows the complete preparation of a theatrical performance (opera, ballet, play, concert, etc.) with up to three sets at the same time, without counting those already placed on the stage. The stage set is moved from one stage to the next with the help of rollators that allow for quick and easy changes. The orchestra pit can accommodate up to 120 musicians and can be used to enlarge the stage if necessary.
The theatre has a capacity of 250 people in the chamber hall. It is designed for chamber music concerts, various ensembles, chamber choir, small symphony orchestra and others. Leading specialists from Italy and Germany worked on the acoustics, and as a result, unique sound characteristics were achieved in all rooms of the theatre. Today, every effort is made to ensure that the creative content of the theatre is in no way inferior to the splendour of its architecture.
Today, the grandstand of the Astana Opera Theatre still hosts masterpieces of opera and ballet classics as well as modern productions by world-class masters.
On 21 June 2013, the theatre ceremoniously opened its first theatre season with a magnificent creation by M. Tulebayev – the opera “Birzhan-Sara”. In the autumn of the same year, the world premiere of the theatre “Astana Opera” took place in Astana, presenting the opera “Attila” by G. Verdi to the world public.